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Israel attacked civilians, but we targeted military sites: Al-Qassam Brigades

Hamas' military wing calls Israel's offensive 'dirty' for targeting Palestinians homes and suggests attacks against Tel Aviv will continue until occupation ends

Ahram Online, AFP, Sunday 3 Aug 2014
Al-Qassam Brigades
File Photo: Members of Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, attend a news conference in Gaza City on Sept. 30, 2009 (Photo: Reuters)

Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, warned Tel Aviv on Sunday that the continuation of the Israeli occupation will put all its cities "within the targets" of the Islamist group.

In a press statement, the brigades described Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories as "dirty", and asserted that "no lives are more worthy than those of our people."

"The occupation forces ran away with their soldiers from the real battlefield with Al-Qassam and the resistance factions, choosing to launch aerial and artillery offensives against civilians," the Palestinian Press Agency (SAFA) quoted the group's statement as saying.

"We tried as much as possible to focus on targeting Israeli military personnel, sites, airports and camps, but the enemy chose to cover its failures by attacking innocent civilian in their gathering centres and homes."

Almost 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and another 9,320 wounded since the start of the Israeli offensive on 8 July. Figures released by the UN humanitarian agency OCHA on 2 August gave a total of 1,525 dead.

Of the 1,196 killed whose identities could be verified, 1,033 were civilians, nearly 84 percent, OCHA said. The number includes 329 children and 187 women.

Of the Palestinians killed, 191 were members of armed groups. On the other side, 66 Israelis have been killed, including 64 soldiers, all of whom have died since the ground offensive began.

According to Israel's army figures, Palestinian factions since 8 July have fired 3,160 rockets, of which 2,483 hit Israel while 559 were intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Israel says it has struck 4,626 targets across the Gaza Strip in the 27-day operation.

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